Solid small boat performances on final day of BC Championship regatta

The final day of the BC Championship regatta started with another round of 5 am weigh-ins and 6:30 am time trails. The Edmonton Rowing Club was out in full force with 6 singles, 4 pairs and 5 doubles taking on the 1800 m distance.

 

The first final of the day was the Open Mens 4- in which two ERC lightweight crews were up against the combined might of the University of Victoria heavy and lightweight programs. Both of the Edmonton crews had qualified for the final by placing in the top three of the heats the previous day. The boat of Ole TietzTorrin LemireMark Bonar and Quinn Brandlyfinished third behind the top UVic heavyweight boat and the RCA Junior crew. Crucially the crew finished 11 seconds ahead of the UVic lightweight boat – who decided to race with a coxswain on board. The presence of the cox in the UVic boat lead to a lengthy discussion of how much a coxswain would slow the crew down over 2000 m. No definite conclusions were reached and the Edmonton boys will have to wait until they line-up against UVic at Henley in two weeks’ time. The second ERC boat of Connor StephensDillon PetersLuis Rodriguez and Roland Dennett finished a close sixth to UVics second heavyweight Men’s crew. 

Luis joined the club this season after starting his rowing career at the University of Calgary this past winter. Roland has been a member of the squad for two years, but swapped the coxswain steering cable for an oar handle this season. Roland made an immediate impact on the rowing scene, winning the Novice 8+ at the 2015 Alberta Boat Race and just missing out on the Gold medal in the Novice Men’s 1x at the Western Sprints in Regina.

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The lightweight men’s eight, nicknamed the “Delicate Flowers,” came up against the big boys in the Open men’s 8+ event

The next final event for the ERC was the Open Women’s 4x which was contested by the “Basic” 4x of Amanda CinnamonAndrea LabrecqueMallory Turner and Kendra Hartleyand the “Krispy” 4x of Kayla RiceEmily DolphinCaliane Inglis and Theora Gray. The heavyweight quad struggled to keep up with the blistering pace set by the top boats from Burnaby Lake and the University of Victoria, but edged out their arch-nemesis from Victoria City to place third in the final. After a thorough race analysis the day before, Amanda Cinnamon was a little short on this occasion: “We’ll work on it tomorrow.” The lightweight 4x held their own against much more powerful opposition and look to make an impression in the lightweight category at Henley two weeks from now.

Calaine Inglis, two seat of the lightweight 4x, joined the Edmonton Rowing Club this summer after starting her rowing career with the University of Calgary in January. Calaine is a successful hockey player and has shown an impressive capacity for dealing with liquid as well as solid water.

 

The last big boat event of the regatta was the Open Men’s 8+, competition in this event is traditionally fierce. The ERC lightweight and Master’s boats took on both UVic and UBC’s top crews in the blue ribbon event of the regatta. Jealousy over the abundance of squad nicknames had reared its ugly head among the lightweight Men over the course of the weekend until the irreplaceable Cinnamon came to the rescue: {Delicate Flowers, the: nickname that refers to the ERC lightweight Men’s squad; derives from dainty features and frequency of injury; possibly alluding to slow and “flowery” approach to problem solving}. The delicate flowers were comprised of Ole TietzTorrin Lemire, Mark BonarQuinn BrandlyConnor StephensAaron HarrowerBen AltmanDillon Peters and cox Anthony Encarnacion who finished the race uncomfortably sandwiched between two UVic eights. The boys raised their rate of striking to a delicate 38 after sitting in fifth place for most of the race and managed to catch the second UVic heavyweight boat to finish in fourth. Unfortunately, the “flowers” lost to the UVic lightweight eight by just over a 1.5 sec after a middle thousand that two seat Ben described as “wilty”.

The Master’s Eight of Charles RannellsRay McKallFrans SlatterThomas LathropRob SwartDoug LynassTodd Bergen-Henengouwen, Kerry Mummery and cox Robert Cassidy pulled out all the stops for the big boat race. VicCity rival Lathrop and sub-6:30 erg Bergen-Henengouwen were recruited to the traditional “TOG” eight {Tall Old Guys, the: explanation superfluous after one decade of usage}, but the crew had a hard time against opposition many decades their junior. The Masters are planning an inaugural appearance at the Henley Masters regatta this year due to the cancellation of the Canadian Masters Championship.

 

The ERC entered a small flotilla to race in the Women’s 2x competition. Amanda Cinnamonand Andrea Labrecque were reunited after their bout in the singles race and promptly qualified for the A-Final, were they placed 6th after a hard fought race. The “Krispy” doubles of Theora Gray / Emily DolphinGeorgie Hyland / Lara Damen, and Kayla Rice / Calaine Inglis held a small internal race for the title of “fastest ERC lightweight double” in the B-Final. The double of Kendra Hartley and Patricia Juarez joined them as an “exhibition” entry. Theora and Emily took line honors ahead of the other ERC boats by placing fourth, only a few short seconds off the VicCity heavyweight entry that included long time ERC member and former club manager Jess Phillips. Jess has recovered from a serious back injury and is currently working in Victoria. It was great to see Jess back in a boat after her prolonged absence from the sport and we look forward to seeing her back at the ERC this fall.

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Photographer and coxswain Anthony Encarnacion took some time in between races to admire the local foliage

 

The next event on the schedule was the Men’s 1x. The ERC came away with a range of solid performance. Michael Hohnstein and Colin Findlay split from their successful doubles combination to race one another in the D-Final, where Michael finished first and Colin narrowly missed out on second to finish third. Dillon Peters and Ben Altman were engaged in a similar duel in the F-Final, where Dillon finished third and ben finished fifth. Roland Dennett and Luis Rodriguez challenged each other to the last ERC grudge match and finished fourth and fifth in the H-Final.

 

As the regatta was winding down and the cross wind was picking up, Quinn Brandly and Mark Bonar took to the water to race “the big boys” in the A-Final of the Men’s 2-. Conditions on the course were deteriorating fast and the crew had to overcome a small sense of humor failure following a bad warm piece in the cross wash: “There is just no point in this”. The lightweight combination rallied and placed a strong fifth, crucially beating the UVic lightweight entry by almost 10 seconds. Further braving the rough conditions were the lightweight crew of Connor Stephens and John Carr as well as the Masters boat of Ray McKall and Frans Slatter. Connor and John finished the C-Final race in fourth, while Ray and Frans took second place in the D-Final. The Masters pair did well to race “YOUNG people” (McKall) and “2000 m distances” (Slatter) all weekend and look forward to 1000 m sprints in age categories at Henley Masters in two weeks time.

 

Athletes and coaches would like to thank the Edmonton Rowing Club and the club board for their financial support of this regatta. A big thank you must also go to Terrance Peter McKallfor his coaching assistance throughout the weekend and to Ben AltmanAndrea Labrecque, and Amanda Cinnamon for safely shepherding our boats to and from the regatta.

The competitive team have shown some great performances three weeks ahead of Henley and are currently working on fine-tuning fitness and technique to strike Gold at the main event of the summer season. The ERC has not won a Henley Gold in a Senior 2000 m event since the late 90’s, a draught that we hope will come to an end soon.